Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lots of Bad News for Obama

What’s New Today

Story #1 shows another drop in the economy.  This time is manufacturing.  #2 Obamacare and what it does to voters.  #3 tells us young voters aren’t high on Obama.  #4 is about Fast and Furious and its architect.  #5 looks at when a news organization questions its own polling.  When its CNN and the polling is bad for Obama.  #6 gives you two online ads on Remember November.  #7 has Charlie Cook’s look at the coming election.  It’s not encouraging to BHO.  #8 tells how the GOP will repeal Obamacare.  #9 is an interesting look at Britain’s Atlantis.  

Today’s Thoughts

Bill Burton of pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA said.  “They look at Mitt Romney and they say, is this clown really going to beat President Obama?”  Clown?  But the answer is, yes Mitt Romney will be the next president of the USA.  

Michael Phelps will not repeat his feat of winning eight gold medals.  He’s only competing in seven events this Olympics.

The overwhelming majority of the 87 Republican lawmakers who swept into Congress in 2010 and took control of the U.S. House are likely to be re-elected this year, according to strategists and an analysis of redistricting changes.

It’s curious that the left warned that a 5-4 decision invalidating Obamacare would be a sign of politicization of the Supreme Court, but a 5-4 decision upholding it shows was a big step showing it isn’t polarized.

1.  Manufacturing drops to lowest level since 2009

US manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years, further denting confidence in a global economy that is already feeling the effects of the Eurozone debt crisis and China’s economic slowdown.

In a shock to economists who were expecting manufacturing growth to slow moderately, the Institute for Supply Management’s survey on the US industrial sector reported a large decline in activity from 53.5 in May to 49.7 in June – its lowest level since the recession ended in mid-2009.

Any reading in the ISM index below 50 indicates a contraction in activity, while above 50 signals an expansion. David Semmens, economist at Standard Chartered described the number as a “really terrible” result….

More bad news for Obama.

2.  SCOTUS decision on Obamacare and its unintended consequences

Nearly a third of Republican voters say they’re more likely to vote in November as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, while just 18 percent of Democrats say the same, according to a poll released Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll, taken after the court announced its decision Thursday, provides more evidence that Republicans are more likely to be fired up by the ruling than Democrats — and could vote in stronger numbers in November….

More Republicans will vote this election than Democrats.  Rasmussen shows the Obama’s approval underwater among those who strongly disapprove vs strongly approve by 20%.

3.  Young Voters Cool on Obama

The New York Times reports that the generation that came of age politically during the Obama administration (18 to 24 year-olds) are much less supportive of the president than their slightly older peers. Those voters with only a dim memory of the Bush years are trending more conservative and are more skeptical about what government can do. Given the dismal economic prospects young people are facing, this is not surprising: the unemployment rate for 18 and 19 year-olds is 23.5 percent; for those aged 20–24 it’s 12.9 percent.

In interviews with some young voters, the Times uncovered a sense of despondency and malaise. They may not be Romney converts just yet, but they aren’t lining up behind the president either:

Maria Verdugo, a 20-year-old graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, barely remembers the presidential election of 2008—the one that spawned a youth movement that was singular in its scope and political effectiveness—except for “something about Obama saying we needed a change.”

These days, Ms. Verdugo is so busy working to pay off her student loans that she has not decided whether to register “as a Democrat, a Republican or what,” she said.

Chad Tevlin, 19, a student trying to pay for college by cleaning portable toilets in South Bend, Ind., cannot recall if he registered to vote at all. “Pointless” is how he describes politics...


Rather than being an inspiration to young people, it appears Obama has become a bad lesson that they are interpreting as it is useless.  Hope and Change has become Disappointment and Cynicism.

4.  Fast and Furious Architect

A campaign contributor who was an architect of the 1994 assault weapons ban was the mastermind behind the Fast and Furious operation that let guns walk into Mexico, including those that killed two U.S. agents.

Shortly after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 15, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder's deputy chief of staff, Monty Wilkinson, received an email from U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke telling him just that:

"The guns found in the desert near the murder(ed) BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store."

It is an email that helps demonstrate that Holder, despite his congressional testimony — as vague, contradictory and misleading as it was — could not have been ignorant about Fast and Furious and its deadly consequences.

It also brings to light the name of Dennis Burke, a seldom-mentioned Obama campaign donor who oversaw Fast and Furious and helped convert it from a gun-interdiction to a gun-walking program.
Burke, who resigned shortly after the scandal became public, has long been a gun-ban architect for the Democratic Party.

As a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was behind the ineffectual 1994 "assault weapon" ban that sunset in 2004. Burke was also the chief of staff for Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for a number of years before she became the secretary of homeland security….

Hmmm, an anti-Second Amendment Obama contributor set up Fast and Furious.  And what do you think Holder and Obama are trying to hide? 

5.  CNN questions its own poll

A rare case in which a news outlet actually tries to undermine its own poll by pointing out problems in its methodology. Is that because it’s terrible for the Unicorn Prince or because, to be fair, it’s hard to draw any conclusions from numbers these vague?

I’m not putting any stock in it but let’s blog it anyway. After last week’s SCOTUS groin-punch, we need something to be happy about.

About a third of all Americans live in states that are not considered safe Republican or safe Democratic strongholds, including toss-ups states (like Florida and Ohio) as well as states that lean toward one presidential candidate but could ultimately wind up voting for his rival. In those 15 “battleground states,” the poll indicates that Romney currently has a 51%-43% advantage over the president among registered voters, if the election were held today.

“Note carefully that this does not mean that Romney will win each of those states by eight points, or that he will win all 15 of those states,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That’s both good news and bad news for Romney. The good news: he has residual strength in states that the two campaigns are fighting over. The bad news: Romney is also spending resources defending states that should be part of the GOP coalition, rather than taking the battle to Obama’s home turf.”

The survey indicates that Romney clearly has a big advantage in some of those 15 states, but the data does not indicate which states he is currently winning or how big that advantage may actually be. Neither candidate needs to win all 15 of those states in order to win the general election, so the aggregate results from all 15 states do not forecast an Obama loss or a Romney victory….


If you go to the actually write up by CNN, it is humorous to read someone talking about how flawed it would be to assume being down by 8% is bad news for Obama in the swing states.  Considering this is registered voters when Democrats normally get a bigger lead than among likely voters this is a disaster for the meme that Obama is doing well.

6.  Remember November

Here are two anti-Obama ads worth viewing. 

7.  Charlie Cook On the coming Election

…We are past the point where Obama can win a referendum election, regardless of whether it is on him or the economy.

The success of his campaign is contingent upon two things. First, when focusing on the narrow sliver of undecided voters, between 6 and 8 percent of the electorate, the Obama team must make its candidate the lesser of two evils. It has to make the prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency so unpalatable that about half of those undecided voters will begrudgingly vote for reelection.

Polling focusing on the undecided voters reveals they are a deeply pessimistic and angry segment of the electorate and don’t particularly like either candidate (fitting, because they don’t tend to like politicians). But they show signs of being more conservative than not. One unpublished analysis gives Republicans a 10-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test among those undecided about the presidential race. Close analysis of the numbers shows that Obama might have an edge with between a third and a quarter of the currently undecided bloc. That’s cutting things awfully close.

The second key is turnout. African-Americans look solid for Obama and very likely to vote in high numbers, but young and Latino voters’ turnout appears problematic. Obama’s recent announcement of a newly articulated Dream Act-light policy could help, but it is too soon to see any data showing measurable change. It is what many Latino voters wanted to see, though Obama did it less than five months before the election when it could have been done three years ago. After deportations had reached levels higher than those under George W. Bush, it could take a lot to drive up Latino turnout.

This election is hardly over: The totally unexpected could happen that changes everything. Unless the Obama team can discredit Romney, though, convincing voters that he is a ruthless, uncaring corporate buccaneer, this will be a hard election to win. Probably the only upside for Obama is that the undecided voters appear so sour that they might believe almost anything disparaging said about any politician.

During this health care decision phase, just take a deep breath. That isn’t what the election will be about.

Obama’s record is what will defeat him in November.  Most of the polls that show Obama in the lead have far more Democrats polled than Republicans.  Unfortunately for Obama that isn’t likely to be the case for actual voters in November.  They also have Obama under 50% with this favorable mix of voters.  Obama is toast. 

8.  Repealing Obamacare

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled ObamaCare's individual mandate constitutional, the direction of American health policy is in the hands of voters. So how do we get from here to "repeal and replace"?
Step one is electing Mitt Romney as president, along with Republican House and Senate majorities. Without a Republican sweep, the law will remain in place.

But a President Romney does not need 60 Republican senators to repeal core elements of ObamaCare. Democrats lost their 60th senate vote in early 2010 after Scott Brown took Edward Kennedy's seat. To bypass a Senate GOP filibuster and enact portions of ObamaCare, they used a special legislative procedure called reconciliation. 

Reconciliation allows a bill to pass the Senate in a limited time period, with limited amendments, and with only 51 votes; filibusters are not permitted. In 2010, Democrats split their health-policy changes into two bills, one of which they enacted through this fast-track process. In 2013, a Republican majority could use the same reconciliation process to repeal those changes.

The reconciliation process, however, applies only to legislative changes to taxes, spending and debt, or the change must be a "necessary term or condition" of another provision that affects taxes or spending.
Crucial parts of ObamaCare meet this test. Thus, if a President Romney has cohesive and coordinated majorities in the House and Senate, a reconciliation bill could repeal the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, insurance premium and drug subsidies, tax increases (all 21 or them), Medicare and Medicaid spending cuts, its long-term care insurance program known as the Class Act, and its Independent Payment Advisory Board, a 15-member central committee with vast powers to control health-care and health markets.

Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that the financial penalty enforcing the individual mandate is within Congress's constitutional power to "lay and collect Taxes," and that the mandate and penalty are inextricably linked. This should suffice to enable repeal, through reconciliation, of both the individual and employer mandates, and their respective penalty taxes.

The state exchanges and insurance rules—"guaranteed issue," which forces an insurer to sell a policy to someone who is already sick, and "community rating," which severely limits the insurer's right to charge that person a higher premium—are procedurally more difficult. Yet both are linked to the individual mandate, which increases taxes. Whether they can be repealed in a reconciliation bill will ultimately be decided by the Senate Parliamentarian….

Repealing IPAB would be a popular decision.  Even some democrats have found fault with this part (called a death panel by Sarah Palin). 

9.  Britain’s Atlantis

'Britain's Atlantis' - a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea - has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews.

Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC.

Divers from oil companies have found remains of a 'drowned world' with a population of tens of thousands - which might once have been the 'real heartland' of Europe.

A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies - and revealed the full extent of a 'lost land' once roamed by mammoths….

This is a fascinating article I recommend you read. 

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